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I’m an overseas-practising vet – do I need to do CPD?

Yes. If you are listed on the RCVS Register as a practising member, regardless of whether you are practising overseas or in the UK, you are expected to comply with the minimum CPD requirement of 35 hours per year.

You may include CPD undertaken abroad, but you should ensure that your description of this, and the hours involved, are clearly recorded in English so that the details of what you have done are transparent to, and understood by, the RCVS and others with an interest in your CPD record, such as prospective and current employers.

Related FAQs

  • There are no changes to what constitutes CPD - guidance is provided on our 'What do I need to do?' page under the heading 'What Counts as CPD?'.

    We don't specify the subjects, activities or type of CPD to be undertaken.

    Anything that is relevant to you, as a veterinary professional, can be counted as CPD so it does not have to be clinically related or formal learning. Work-based learning such as case or practice discussions can be a great form of CPD.

  • Yes, you need to keep a record of your CPD and the easiest way to do that is to use the 1CPD app or website to record your CPD.

    Until 2022 you can record your CPD in any format, as long as it clearly shows what type of activities you have undertaken and how many hours of CPD you have done.

    We would also recommend that you keep a learning journal to keep notes of your learning and your reflections. If you use 1CPD all your notes and reflections can be recorded within the system so you do not need to keep any other records.

  • Yes – all veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses listed on the RCVS Register must complete the minimum CPD requirement of 35 hours per year for veterinary surgeons and 15 hours per year for veterinary nurses, regardless of whether they are working full-time or part-time.

    This applies equally to vets approaching retirement who may carry out only a small number of veterinary duties and procedures each year. If you are on the Register as a practising veterinary surgeon, you must fulfil your CPD obligations, regardless of how many hours you work so that you remain up to date.

  • We are allowing vets to carry over 25 hours of CPD and VNs 10 hours of accumulated CPD from 2019 to 2020. This will apply once, in 2020, only.

    It is only applicable to vets and VNs who have been CPD-compliant from 2017 to 2019.

  • If you’re absent from work and feel unable to meet the minimum CPD requirement but need to stay on the Register, you can apply to pause your CPD for up to 6 months.

    You can apply to pause your CPD through the online RCVS CPD recording platform, 1CPD. In the web version, there is a 'Request CPD pause' button and in the app, there is a form to fill in, along with a return to work plan that can then be submitted for review. Applications cannot be made retrospectively, but there are no restrictions on how many times you can apply to pause your CPD. (Please note this facility is available on the 1CPD website but not in the app.)

    If you anticipate any issues meeting requirements and are not eligible to pause your CPD, please contact the Education team by email on or call 020 3795 5595.

  • We recommend that vets and VNs who take time away from work keep up with CPD as long as you remain practising on your respective Register. This is to help you keep your skills, knowledge and experience up-to-date and place them in a stronger position once you return to work.

    In cases of planned or unplanned leave, vets and VNs can apply to pause your CPD requirements for up to 6 months. Once you return to work, your CPD requirements will be calculated on a pro-rata basis against the annual hourly targets. If you need to take a longer break, please contact the Education team by email on or call 020 3795 5595 to discuss.

    Veterinary nurses who are unable to maintain their CPD requirement during an absence from work are encouraged to remove their name from the Register. If you return to register after a period of 6-18 months you will not need to pay a restoration fee.  

  • VNs who return to register after a period of 6-18 months will not need to pay a restoration fee.

  • While the PDP covers your minimum CPD requirement if it is undertaken conscientiously as part of your initial development during your first year in practice, you may also be undertaking other forms of CPD during that time (e.g. BVA Congress, SPVS Congress, veterinary-based webinars, formal/informal study), details of which should be included on your CPD record.

    Recording all CPD, including the PDP, serves as a useful reminder and prompt for skills and career development purposes.